Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 82
With a swing of the sword, mana was diffused into the surrounding area.
This wasn’t a special skill but instead a simple technique that utilized mana, a form of sword pressure.
“Wh-What skill is this?!”
A few got flung away while the few guys who were a bit skilled managed to defend themselves using a skill. But with a single attack, their formation had been broken up.
YuWon started charging towards the players.
“He’s coming toward us!”
“No! He’s already here!”
“To the right!”
“No, he’s left!”
“Which fucking side is it?!”
As if they had made a promise beforehand, the players tried to cooperate with each other, but the results weren’t so stellar.
Along with a sword slash to the chest, a strong impact flung a player many meters into the air.
The player came back down, slamming into the ground.
Afterwards, the other players started to shout over one another.
“It’s not a sword!”
“Then what is it?”
“I don’t know! But it felt more like a blunt object…”
“Is it maybe the flat part of the sword?”
It was absolute chaos.
Almost no one was capable of keeping up with YuWon’s movements with their eyes, but SeoMoon Chang could at least see YuWon’s faintly moving afterimages.
‘Over there,’ Chang thought.
He could see the tip of the sword moving, but he couldn’t react to it.
The sword reached him a beat, no, a few beats faster than he had anticipated.
‘I’m dead…!’ Chang braced himself.
It was a light hit, like an adult scolding a child.
A kick launched Chang into the air, and he tumbled across the ground.
He barely managed to stop himself from throwing up all his insides.
Chang vomited blood while hacking and coughing then grit his teeth to endure the pain in his chest.
‘That’s at least a few broken ribs,’ Chang thought to himself.
It was impossible for him to continue fighting in this state. Heavens knew if he was still capable of fighting, but he had lost his will.
One had to at least be in the same ballpark for it to be a real fight, so with how large of a gap there was between him and YuWon, it was no wonder he didn’t want to fight anymore.
Players that had been beaten up by YuWon were groaning and rolling on the ground. Half had fainted while the other half were lying down with injuries.
There were no fatalities from what Chang could see.
‘Everyone’s alive?’ he couldn’t believe it.
This was a tournament where people fought using weapons, so it was inevitable for some to end up dead.
However, it wasn’t by chance that in such a tournament not a single person died.
‘Is he going easy on us?’ Chang wondered, unable to believe it.
People who decided to participate in the Grand Martial Arts Tournament had a certain level of confidence in their skills. In such a situation, Chang had a hard time believing that YuWon went easy on not just one or two opponents but while facing eight of them simultaneously.
That’s when he remembered…
‘Earlier…’ Chang thought back to how YuWon’s sword had a clear shot at his head. He had braced himself for death, but instead of being cut down, he was only kicked.
In the heat of the moment, he thought that the sword must have been a fakeout, and his kick was the real attack, but after thinking things through, those two movements connected too unnaturally.
“Ha… Haha…” Chang was baffled.
This might have just been the preliminaries, but in ‘The Grand Martial Arts Tournament’ YuWon was acting like an adult facing children.
* * *
After his match was over, YuWon waited for Hargaan’s match. Hargaan’s fight was the match after the next.
“He took down everyone by himself…”
“There was another guy like Kim YuWon?!”
There were still remnants of the Hargaan’s electric attack in the arena.
From the AOE electric attack to physical abilities and mana, everything about Hargaan was on a level that was not of a low-floor player.
Even YuWon was impressed, understanding how Hargaan was managing to rise in the rankings with each subsequent floor.
It was an unbelievable growth speed.
YuWon had heard that he had just cleared the 25th Floor, but his skills matched those of high-floor players.
‘His potential might be even higher.’
Hargaan’s mana resembled Zeus’s the most. From his talent at manipulating electricity, along with his skills and appearance, he was a spitting image of Zeus.
‘He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with when he becomes a Ranker.’
YuWon found it worthwhile having waited to see his match, but with that, he got up from his seat. He saw no reason to watch the remaining matches and left.
As he was leaving the first floor exit…
“It’s him!” shouted a faintly familiar voice.
YuWon stared at a man pointing his finger at him.
His face was also somewhat familiar…
“Right,” YuWon finally remembered. “What was your name?”
… But he only remembered the face. He couldn’t remember the name.
The man’s face turned red from feeling looked down upon.
“It’s Yang Wonil!” the man shouted, approaching YuWon, huffing and puffing in anger.
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… Or at least he tried to approach YuWon.
“Wait,” a man standing behind Wonil grabbed him by his shoulder.
YuWon got an uneasy feeling while looking at the man.
‘Is he a Ranker?’ YuWon wondered.
The man’s strength was on a completely different level than Wonil. He was almost two meters tall with a muscular build. It was clear that this man was strong.
“I apologize. A disciple of our school was too rude to you,” the man said.
“Who are you?” YuWon asked.
“I am the head of the School of the Sapphire Sword. My name is Moon SoBaek.”
YuWon had an inkling that he would be no ordinary player. A head of a martial school meant that he should have at least been on the level of a Ranker.
For such a person to come here in person… From YuWon’s experience, they usually only had one business.
“I’m not interested,” YuWon declined.
“You don’t even want to hear what I have to say?” SoBaek asked.
“Are you not here to recruit me into your school?”
SoBaek looked slightly shocked, but that was only for a split second. He immediately returned back to his composed self. It seemed that he had somewhat expected such a response.
“That’s right. I heard that you rejected all the recruitment offers from major guilds,” SoBaek said.
“To be clear, the School of the Sapphire Sword isn’t a guild. We might be a part of the Martial Guild, but we are more of a martial school than a guild,” SoBaek tried to persuade YuWon.
YuWon thought his logic was hilarious. Telling someone to join their school without a test is no different than a guild recruitment offer. In essence, it was asking him to be affiliated with them.
“I’m not sure if you’re aware, but our Sapphire Sword School has a long history. We might have weakened a bit in recent times, but our school can be said to be the first school to continue on the tradition of the Martial Realm,” SoBaek went on a long, noisy sales pitch. “If you join us, we will be able to achieve everything for our school. I realized it the moment I saw you fighting in the arena. The future of our school is…”
SoBaek was taken aback. He didn’t expect YuWon to just cleanly cut him off and walk away. He did think YuWon might reject him, but not so firmly and easily. He thought he’d at least get a chance to chat over a cup of tea or something.
“Please wait a moment,” SoBaek said while grabbing YuWon’s shoulder.
YuWon stared at SoBaek.
SoBaek was no longer smiling, and with the smile gone, it revealed his harsh face.
‘He looks rough,’ YuWon thought, thinking that his face looked like that of a menacing bandit. If he’d had a beard, it would have been the cherry on top.
Mana filled with fighting spirit shimmered around SoBaek.
YuWon was able to read the anger hiding behind SoBaek’s mana.
“It seems you haven’t fully understood me,” SoBaek spoke.
“What did I not understand?”
“This isn’t an offer,” SoBaek said while tightly gripping his shoulder. “Do you understand now?”
YuWon looked at the hand on his shoulder.
He had expected such a confrontation to occur at least once, and so he was prepared to have a go in such a case.
“I’m sure you’re well aware of what will happen to a Ranker that messes with a participant of the Grand Martial Arts Tournament,” YuWon said, his tone shifting.
SoBaek smiled slyly at the change in mood. “Of course I do,” he said.
“So you’re not afraid of the NamGung Clan?”
The Grand Martial Arts Tournament was a tournament held by the NamGung Clan, the clan led by the head of the Martial Artists’ Alliance. Cleaning up any incidents that happened within it was the responsibility of the NamGung Clan. Thus, messing with a participant of the tournament was like a direct challenge against the NamGung Clan.
Moon SoBaek, the head of the School of the Sapphire Sword, might have been a Ranker, but his school was still a weak, minor martial school compared to the great NamGung noble clan.
The NamGung Clan had over ten Rankers, and they even had NamGung JinWoon, who was almost a High Ranker.
“Is that why you’ve been acting so cocky? Because you trust the NamGung Clan?” SoBaek let out a laugh. “The head of the JeGal Clan is my blood brother. Did you really think I’d fear the NamGung Clan?”
YuWon was wondering why he was being so bold. It turned out that he had a pocket ace.
“Does your blood brother know that his big brother is such a bastard?” YuWon asked.
“Of course,” SoBaek said boastfully. “Now don’t be so prickly. I want to have a good relationship with you. If you take your time to hear me out, you’ll learn that our Sapphire Sword School isn’t such a bad place.”
“I refuse,” YuWon said while grabbing SoBaek’s wrist.
Using force, YuWon tried to push away the hand that was grabbing his shoulder.
SoBaek’s eyebrow twitched from the amount of strength exerted by YuWon.
‘This guy…’ SoBaek thought.
He knew that YuWon was incredibly skilled for a player on the lower floors, but to have so much strength…
‘This won’t be easy,’ SoBaek determined.
SoBaek strengthened his grip, but as he exerted more power, the penalty slowly started up.
‘What the—?’ SoBaek couldn’t believe it.
Little by little, his hand was moving.
YuWon was actually pushing away his hand.
SoBaek started feeling a bit of pain from how tightly YuWon was holding his wrist.
He couldn’t believe it. He was being conscientious in how much strength he used due to the penalty, but for him to get pushed away…
“No,” YuWon continued, “I only trust myself.”
“Kgh…” SoBaek grunted in pain.
SoBaek quickly broke away from YuWon’s grip.
He could have ignored the penalty and used more of his power, but he didn’t even have time to weigh his options.
Originally, SoBaek thought that he just had to crush YuWon with force since he didn’t have to worry about the aftermath with the NamGung Clan too much.
“So you’re pretty skilled,” SoBaek commented.
It turned out that things wouldn’t be so easy.
SoBaek drew his sword.
It was a blue sword befitting the name of the head of the School of the Sapphire Sword.
SoBaek quickly started assessing the situation, checking if anyone was nearby.
‘The tournament is going full force,’ SoBaek thought. It’d be at least a while before people started leaving the stadium.
SoBaek was relieved, ‘I’m glad I ordered a guy to be on look out just in case.’
From the beginning, he had intended on using force if YuWon didn’t listen to him, since as long as he could somehow take YuWon to his school, he’d be able to get YuWon to listen to him one way or another.
‘Let’s not drag this out…’ SoBaek resolved himself.
“Right. Actually, there is one thing.”
“Something I trust,” YuWon said.
YuWon’s gaze shifted to behind SoBaek.
Out of nowhere, a presence could be felt.
There was nothing nearby, but in an instant, a presence grew close to them.
SoBaek felt an odd sensation, as if a ferocious beast was approaching him from behind.
“I thought you were taking too long, sir,” a man spoke.
SoBaek turned his head to find a large man had approached them. His outfit and way of speech made him seem like someone from the Martial Realm, but SoBaek had never once seen this man before.
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The man looked back and forth between YuWon and SoBaek before asking, “What are you doing here…”
It was the Heavenly Fist Lord, Pung BaekLim.
The man who had fought with YuWon during the Heavenly Demonic Cult’s test politely bowed and greeted YuWon, “… Vice-Lord?”